As this law takes effect it is worth noting that according to research conducted by University of New Hampshire Prof. Ross Gittell, the primary beneficiaries of the minimum wage increase will be women, working parents and older employees aged 65 and up. Even this modest increase in the minimum wage will help these hard-working families meet the sometimes overwhelming financial hardships they face in the form of ever-increasing housing costs, health care, child care, energy and other costs.
He makes it sound like a large percentage of our population are dependent upon jobs that pay minimum wage. Fortunately, he's wrong.
Most minimum wage earners are those entering the job market for the first time. And those that are rarely remain at minimum wage for long. As long as they're willing to do their jobs and do them well, they won't be stuck at the bottom of the wage scale.
As it is, I don't know of too many jobs out there that pay minimum wage. My son, BeezleBub, all of 13 years of age, started his first job at well above the present minimum wage. Working the fields on a farm is unskilled labor, yet he's being paid above the present and future minimum wage.
Repeat after me: Thirteen. First job. Being paid above the minimum wage.
Looking through the want ads of the local and statewide paper, I found it very difficult to find jobs listed that paid just the minimum wage. (In fact I found only one, and it stated that after a 60-day probationary period, the pay would jump to $7.90 per hour.) Even fast food joints like McDonald's are starting new employees at $8 per hour or higher.
Looking at these anecdotal facts, I find it hard to believe that there are all that many families out there where the wage earners are bringing home just the minimum wage.